The World PCO Alliance has released an official duty of care statement, highlighting its partners’ commitment to managing security risks on behalf of clients.

The statement, known as the Alliance’s Duty of Care Commitment, is a response to an increasingly adverse international climate, and outlines the provisions that each alliance partner must provide its clients to ensure they manage and minimise the risks associated with organising international meetings. These provisions include a customised risk assessment and mitigation plan, assisting with selecting an appropriate insurance policy, and venue safety and emergency procedures.

World PCO Alliance president Kitty Wong says the challenges faced by international events are greater than they have ever been, and few organisers are informed enough to make the critical decisions that will protect their event.

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“We’re living in a time of insecurity, and this insecurity affects the wellbeing of an international conference or congress. It’s incumbent on PCOs to properly educate clients and assist them in taking the necessary measures that will minimise any risks."

For World PCO Alliance partner Alexis Richard, of Colloquium Group, the role of the PCO has changed: "We are no longer simply a congress organiser but rather a true crisis manager if needed. It is crucial for us to integrate all the security aspects in our processes, and to anticipate potential crisis. Our clients need to be reassured." 

Canadian partner Jean-Paul de Lavison, founder of JPdL International, adds that while security might get a lot of lip service, the Alliance statement reassures clients that this issue will be thoroughly addressed for their events: “The entire Alliance network is totally engaged in the recognition of the security question.

"Beyond the critical issue of security, lies the importance of the optics of communicating… the fact that these risks have been addressed is highly pertinent. All stakeholders and especially our participants need to aware of what is being done.” 

Read the Alliance’s Duty of Care Commitment in full.